By Ben Hargrove
The following catchers are still available in some season-long, daily and weekly fantasy baseball leagues.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Boston Red Sox
A red-hot start to June raised Saltalamacchia’s batting average to .262 and OPS to .781 as of the end of the month. Saltalamacchia, now 28, has not hit above .235 since 2008 and has never had an OPS above .750. Saltalamacchia’s 31 RBI and 25 runs are almost halfway to his career highs. He has eight homers. His numbers make him a top choice as a waiver wire catcher. Saltalamacchia hit 25 homers in 2012 but also had a .222 batting average.
Saltalamcchia, a switch-hitter, has an OPS against righties of .841 as opposed to .589 against lefties. His career mark against lefties is .587. Saltalamacchia’s OPS at home is .912 vs. .632 on the road, but those splits were more even in his previous years in Boston. Saltalamacchia’s 2013 BABIP is .395.
Jason Castro, Houston Astros
Castro, the tenth pick in the 2008 amateur draft, has been hampered by injuries in his career. Finally healthy in 2013, he has taken over the number 3 spot in the Astros lineup and has been DH 10 times as the Astros try to keep him active when he is not catching. Castro hit .292 in May with six homers and 13 RBI. Though he struggled in early June, Castro was hitting .269 with 11 homers, 27 RBI and 33 runs as of press time, making him a decent choice if you are looking for a catcher.
The left-handed Castro’s OPS against righties is .847 as opposed to only .638 against lefties. (His career mark against lefties is even lower - .413.) Castro has a home OPS of .900 as opposed to .700 on the road.
Yan Gomes, Cleveland Indians
One would not think that a team with Carlos Santana would find plenty of at bats for their backup catcher. But with Santana playing more than a third of his games at first base or DH, Gomes made 13 starts in May, during which he hit .370. On May 20, Gomes hit two homers against Seattle, including the game-winner in the tenth inning, and followed that up with two hits and another homer the following day against Detroit.
After that , Gomes began to see more time in the starting lineup. Through the end of June, Gomes had caught 11 games in the month and served as DH once Even after a slow start in June, Gomes was hitting .268 with six homers in 112 at bats and an .806 OPS. Gomes may be a good choice in daily fantasy baseball leagues.